September 17, 2010 •
Highlighted Site of the Week – The Office of the Clerk
For anyone who is interested in government relations, the Web site for the Office of the Clerk is a powerful tool. From this site you can watch live video of the House floor proceedings, get information about any member of Congress, and keep up with the lobbying disclosure requirements though the site’s FAQs, news points, and guidance on the Lobbying Disclosure Act. You can also find the foreign travel reports, gift and travel filings of Members, officers, and staff; as well as financial disclosure reports of Members of Congress, “officers, certain employees of the U.S. House of Representatives and related offices, and candidates for the U.S. House of Representatives.”
But this is only the beginning of the many resources offered on the site. Did you know the Office of the Clerk has a YouTube account with oral histories of the House of Representatives. You will find Benjamin C. West talking about the Nixon Impeachment Hearings, and a Cokie Roberts interview about the Voting Rights Act of 1965. And there are 19 other great videos!
If you have children, the Office of the Clerk Web site has a great feature called “Kids in the House.” Whether your child is preschool, grade school, middle, or high school age – there are inviting presentations for the kids to discover what Congress is all about. They can see how a bill becomes a law, read about the art and history of the Capitol, and even take an interactive tour of the House Chamber. Teachers will love the site’s weekly “Teaching Tips” feature.
Want to impress your friends with timely trivia about our government? The Office of the Clerk offers a “Weekly Historical Highlights” page. Did you know that on September 14, 1837 there was a debate in Congress about whether to the ban hats on the House Floor? On September 18, 1893, the federal government celebrated the centennial of the laying of the Capitol cornerstone. There were parades, decorations, and all government offices were closed that day. I wonder what was going on in Washington on my birthday?
The Web site of the Office of the Clerk offers loads of information, beautiful photos and graphics, and easy site navigation. Anyone can become a polymath in American government by frequenting this treasure.
See you next week!
Screen captures courtesy of the Office of the Clerk Web site.
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